Thursday, December 31, 2020

Holy Mass Online : Fri. January 1, 2021 - #Eucharist on Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in Your Virtual Church - Christmas Tide

 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Lectionary: 18
Reading 1
NM 6:22-27
The LORD said to Moses: 
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: 
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, 
and I will bless them.”
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R/ (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
   may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
   among all nations, your salvation.
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
   because you rule the peoples in equity;
   the nations on the earth you guide.
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
   may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
   and may all the ends of the earth fear him! 
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.
Reading 2
GAL 4:4-7
Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law, 
to ransom those under the law, 
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons, 
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son, 
and if a son then also an heir, through God.
HEB 1:1-2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
LK 2:16-21
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message 
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen, 
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint January 1 : Solemnity of Mary Mother of God - a Title of Mary Ratified during the Council of Ephesus in 431

Saint January 1 : Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - 
Formally a Holy Day of Obligation but due to the pandemic, it is not possible to attend Mass in some cases.   
The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek Theotokos, which means “God-bearer”.
The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God is celebrated on January 1st and is a Holy Day of Obligation; meaning Catholics must attend Mass except during the time of the pandemic or other illness. The Solemnity falls exactly one week after Christmas, the end of the octave of Christmas. The object of this feast is to commemorate the dignity of the Mary as Mother of God. Mary is truly the Mother of Christ, who in one person unites the human and divine nature. This title was solemnly ratified by the Council of Ephesus, 22 June, 431.
This feast was established by Pope Paul the VI in his 1974 document Marialis Cultis
In that document he writes:

In the revised ordering of the Christmas period it seems to us that the attention of all should be directed towards the restored Solemnity of Mary the holy Mother of God. This celebration, placed on January 1 in conformity with the ancient indication of the liturgy of the City of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the "holy Mother...through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of life."(17) It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (cf. Lk. 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. It is for this reason that, in the happy concurrence of the Octave of Christmas and the first day of the year, we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an occasion that is gaining increasing support and already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many. (MC 5, 1974)

In the Bible, this is noted, when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth she says:

Luke 1:39-45, Mary Visits Elizabeth 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?"

 The hymns used in the office of the feast also allude to Mary's dignity as the spiritual mother of men. The love of Mary for all mankind was that of a mother, for she shared all the feelings of her son whose love for men led Him to die for our redemption (Hunter, Dogm.Theo. 2, 578).At present the feast is found in the universal calendar of the church.
 The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, falling on New Year's Day, is also designated the World Day of Peace. 
Text edited from the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Vatican Document Marialis Cultus

Don't Drink and Drive! Most Powerful Drunk Driving Ad - SHARE you might Save a Life - VIRAL with 19 Million Views

The holidays are here, and it is a time for parties & for some time off work. It is a time for enjoying ourselves, having a drink with family & friends. This five minute video of the road safety campaigns produced by the TAC over the last 20 years have been compiled for this powerful message. According to the statistics 38,000 people died in traffic crashes in 2019 in the United States, with an over 10,000 people who died from drunk driving crashes.
PLEASE WATCH & Share, & maybe, just maybe, you might save a Life....

Pope Francis' Homily for Vespers "May your mercy always be with us, in you we have hoped". In you is our trust and our hope." as Read by Cardinal Re - FULL TEXT + Video





St. Peter's Basilica
Thursday, 31 December 2020

Homily of the Holy Father, read by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re ]

Cardinal Re read the text that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had prepared for this occasion. Due to his sciatica the Holy Father was unable to preside at the Vespers but provided the homily. 

Dearest brothers and sisters!

This evening celebration always has a double aspect: with the liturgy we enter the solemn feast of Mary Most Holy Mother of God; and at the same time we conclude the solar year with the great hymn of praise.

The first aspect will be discussed in the homily tomorrow morning . Tonight we give space to thanks for the year that is drawing to a close.

« Te Deum laudamus », «We praise you, God, we proclaim you Lord…». It might seem forced to thank God at the end of a year like this, marked by the pandemic. My thoughts go to families who have lost one or more members; let us think of those who have been sick, those who have suffered loneliness, those who have lost their jobs ...

Sometimes someone asks: what is the point of a drama like this? We must not be in a hurry to answer this question. Not even God responds to our most distressing “whys” by resorting to “superior reasons”. God's response follows the path of the incarnation, as the Antiphon at the Magnificat will soon sing : "For the great love with which he loved us, God sent his Son in the flesh of sin".

A God who sacrificed human beings for a great design, even if it were the best possible, is certainly not the God who revealed Jesus Christ to us. God is father, "eternal Father", and if his Son became man, it is through the immense compassion of the Father's heart. God is Father and shepherd, and which shepherd would give even one sheep lost, thinking that in the meantime he has many left? No, this cynical and ruthless god does not exist. This is not the God whom we "praise" and "proclaim Lord".

The good Samaritan, when he met that poor half-dead man on the side of the road, did not give him a speech to explain the meaning of what had happened to him, perhaps to convince him that it was really good for him. The Samaritan, moved by compassion , bent over that stranger, treating him as a brother and took care of him doing everything in his power ( cf.Lk 10 : 25-37).

Here, yes, perhaps we can find a "sense" of this drama that is the pandemic, as of other scourges that affect humanity: that of arousing in us compassion and provoking attitudes and gestures of closeness, care, solidarity, of affection.

This is what has happened and is also happening in Rome in recent months; and above all for this, tonight, we give thanks to God. We give thanks to God for the good things that happened in our city during the lockdown and, in general, in the time of the pandemic, which unfortunately is not over yet. There are many people who, without making any noise, have tried to make the weight of the test more bearable. With their daily commitment, animated by love for their neighbor, they realized those words of the hymn Te Deum : "Every day we bless you, we praise your name forever". Because the blessing and praise that God most pleases is brotherly love.

Health care workers - doctors, nurses, nurses, volunteers - are at the forefront, and for this they are particularly in our prayers and deserve our gratitude; as well as many priests, male and female religious, who did their utmost with generosity and dedication. But tonight our thanks extend to all those who strive every day to keep their families going in the best possible way and to those who are committed to their service to the common good. Let us think of school administrators and teachers, who play an essential role in social life and who have to face a very complex situation. We also think with gratitude of the public administrators who know how to enhance all the good resources present in the city and in the territory, who are detached from private interests and also from those of their party. Because? Because they truly seek the good of all, the common good, the good starting from the most disadvantaged.

All this cannot happen without grace, without God's mercy. We - we know this well from experience - in difficult moments we are led to defend ourselves - it is natural - we are led to protect ourselves and our loved ones, to protect our interests … How is it possible then that so many people, with no other reward than that of doing good, find the strength to worry about others? What drives them to give up something of themselves, of their own comfort, of their time, of their possessions, to give it to others? After all, even if they themselves do not think about it, the force of God pushes them, which is more powerful than our egoisms. For this reason, this evening we give praise to him, because we believe and know that all the good that is done day by day on earth comes, in the end, from him, comes from God. And looking to the future that awaits us, we again implore: "May your mercy always be with us, in you we have hoped". In you is our trust and our hope.

Gain a Plenary Indulgence on New Year's Eve with these Powerful Prayers -

Plenary Indulgences for 31 December 
The Enchiridion Indulgentiarum 26 indicates that we can gain plenary indulgences on the 31 December. 
(See Video Below)
A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, recite or sing the Te Deum
Under the usual conditions, a plenary indulgence can be gained:
1. Sacramental confession within eight days
2. A prescribed good work (for Dec. 31 the recital of the Te Deum)
3. Sacramental Holy Communion within eight days.
4. Prayers for the intentions of the Roman Pope (usually 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be)
5. Detestation of venial sin 

TE DEUM PRAYER in Latin and English
Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.O God, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.Everlasting Father, all the earth doth worship Thee.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers,
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:all the Cherubim and Seraphim, unceasingly proclaim:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,The glorious choir of the Apostles,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,the wonderful company of Prophets,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.the white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,Holy Church throughout the world doth acknowledge Thee:
Patrem immensae maiestatis:the Father of infinite Majesty;
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.Thou, having taken it upon Thyself to deliver man, didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.Thou overcame the sting of death and hast opened to believers the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.Thou sitest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.We beseech Thee, therefore, to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance!
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yea, forever and ever.
V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.

Vatican Announces that Pope Francis Suffers from Painful Sciatica and Therefore will not Preside at 1st Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary

FULL TEXT Announcement from the Holy See: 
Due to painful sciatica, this evening’s and tomorrow’s mornings celebrations at the Altar of the Chair in the Vatican Basilica will not be presided over by the Holy Father Francis. 
 This evening’s First Vespers and Te Deum, 31 December 2020, will be presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals, while Holy Mass tomorrow, 1 January 2021, will be presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State. Tomorrow, 1 January 2021, Pope Francis will, however, lead the recitation of the Angelus from the Library of the Apostolic Palace, as planned.

RIP Bishop Andrew Han Jingtao - Death of Beloved Chinese Underground Bishop who spent 27 Years in Labor Camp at Age 99

Asia News reports that Bishop Andrew Han Jingtao, a ‘giant of culture and faith’ of the underground Church, has died.
The biographical report by Bernardo Cervellera, found below, is from Asia News.
A great scholar, he spent 27 years in a forced labour camp, and later taught at a university. He was also appreciated by prison authorities. Upon becoming bishop in 1982, he divided his time between academic and pastoral work. After 1997 he was under constant police surveillance. He was a supporter of the Legions of Mary and founder of the Women's Congregation of Mount Calvary.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Mgr Andrew Han Jingtao, underground bishop of Siping (Jilin), passed away last night at 11pm (Beijing time). He was 99 years old.
Described by some faithful as “a giant of culture and faith” of the unofficial community, Bishop Han was a great scholar from an early age.
His first studies took place under the direction of Canadian missionaries from Quebec, to whom the apostolic vicariate was entrusted.
His great culture was even recognised by the authorities of the forced labour camp where he spent 27 years (1953-1980) for refusing to join the “independent and autonomous” Church, following Mao Zedong’s directives.
Once free, the authorities hired him to teach English at Changchun University. A few months later he became associate professor at the Institute for the History of Ancient Civilisations at Northeast Normal University.
He taught undergraduate, master and doctoral students, and introduced many Chinese to the study of classical cultures and languages (Latin and Greek).
In 1987 he retired from teaching, but not from his Church and missionary work. Even before his imprisonment, he had focused on educating the laity through the Legions of Mary, pushing them to pray, proclaim and engage in charity work. At the same time he had started a congregation of nuns, later called “Mount Calvary”.
He said that in the 1950s, the regime tried to “get rid of the Pope's interference and expel foreign missionaries. At that time, I realised that the Church was facing a great challenge and needed great strength to resist; otherwise, she would not be able to stand up. This is why I decided to establish a religious congregation.”
In 1982 he was appointed bishop of Siping, but his ordination took place in secret in 1986. For several years, he had to divide his time between pastoral work and university commitments.
In the early 1980s, the government unified all ecclesiastical districts in Jilin province into a single diocese, that of Jilin. The Diocese of Siping, still recognised by the Holy See, coves sections of Jilin province, Inner Mongolia and Liaoning.
Starting in 1997, his home came under constant surveillance making his ministry difficult. Even the congregation of nuns he founded went through a difficult time: convents shut down, members dispersed, secret reopenings, members living in various underground communities.
According to the latest figures, the diocese has about 30,000 members, including 20,000 in the unofficial Church and 10,000 in the official one, with 20 priests and a hundred religious Sisters.
The diocese also offers some social services, including an orphanage and a medical centre.
Full Text Source: Asia